BANTRY’S Injury Unit treated 4,954 patients for a variety of broken bones, sprains, wounds and minor burns by the end of October.
And for all of last year the unit, which opened in 2013, saw more than 5,000 patients.
Located on the grounds of Bantry General Hospital, the unit is open seven days a week from 8am to 7.30pm and can treat patients aged five and over who are not likely to need overnight admission.
Patients can go directly there themselves or by GP referral. The unit has access to physiotherapy services, and is staffed by a consultant-led teams of doctors, advanced nurse practitioners, nurses, radiographers and physiotherapists.
It provides the same level of expertise and service as emergency departments, for the appropriate group of patients but is not designed to treat serious head, back or neck injuries, abdominal (stomach) pain, medical illnesses or mental health problems.
Similar units are in Mallow and the Mercy University Hospital. By the end of October 2018, 26,536 patients had been treated at the Injury Units in Cork (Mallow, 5,529 and Mercy, 16,053).
Feedback from a recent survey showed that patients are very satisfied with the services provided in these units, with 91% of respondents rating the service as excellent or very good. The survey found that 33% of respondents got their injury playing sports, 31% injured themselves at home, and 10% injured themselves at work.
Dr Gerry McCarthy, consultant in emergency medicine, and clinical lead of the national emergency medicine programme said: ‘We know from feedback received that patients who use our units generally have a very positive experience. But we really want to make sure that everyone knows just what our Injury Units do and the efficient and high quality care that patients will receive when they attend them.’